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The Concepts of Class and Object as Presented in Selected Java Textbooks

The Concepts of Class and Object as Presented in Selected Java Textbooks
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Author(s): Robert Joseph Skovira (Robert Morris University, USA)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 2
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch318
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


In object-oriented programming languages, and in particular Java, the most elemental concepts are those of class and object. Yet, in many textbooks that are the basis of teaching and learning Java, ideas are not clearly presented. Textbooks that are used to introduce students to object-oriented programming in Java, ought to be clear about the Java structures of class and object and how they are constructed and used. There is a problem with most textbooks purporting to be the learning platform for object-oriented programming in Java. The problem is the breadth and depth of the discussion and presentation of the class and object structures. These structures are concepts introduced and discussed, but the discussion is spare and sparse. There is a reliance on using the syntactical structures to enhance and extend the explanations of what classes and objects are, but the explicit coupling of syntax to concept is weak. The cognitive model of class and object is usually fragmented and not clearly drawn. Object-oriented textbooks in Java do not sufficiently link, in a descriptive or explanatory way, the conception with the syntax. A great burden of understanding of how things go together and work in regards to class and object rests upon the individual reader. Consequently, this essay is a study and analysis of Java textbook presentations of class and object concepts and how these ideas are modeled and implemented. In other words, the paper is a study of the cognitive models of class and object. The paper discusses various ways in which the class and object concepts are represented to students of the Java language.

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